Derby Preview vs West Brom (A)

After a fantastic victory against Sheffield United, the Rams face off against the league’s top goal scorers on Wednesday as they visit third placed West Brom. Lampard’s lads will be full of confidence after putting a halt to Sheffield United’s eight-match win streak at the weekend, goals from Craig Bryson and Jack Marriott lifted the Rams back up to fifth, a place in the play-off spots, whereas West Brom were defeated by Wigan away from home, 1-0.

Despite their most recent result being a defeat, the Baggies have proved ruthless at times this season. Darren Moore’s men have scored 31 goals already, after just 13 matches, one of which being an emphatic 7-1 victory over Steve McClaren’s QPR. Derby on the other hand have only managed to find the net on 17 occasions. However, a victory for the Rams on Wednesday would see the two teams sit level on 24 points at this early stage of the season, regardless of the difference in goals scored.

West Brom have one hell of a squad for the Championship. Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle have 7 and 8 goals respectively, whilst Harvey Barnes and Matt Phillips also provide great threat going forward, sharing 9 goals & 3 assists between them. Save hands, Sam Johnstone, and a back three of Kyle Bartley, Ahmed Hegazi, and Craig Dawson also provide great knowhow and stability in defence for the Baggies, making Wednesday’s encounter a tough visit for the Rams’ attacking force.

Speaking of our front line, Jack Marriott is bang in-form. 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 5 matches, and things are looking promising. I’ve certainly been very impressed with him in his past two games, his work ethic against QPR was unbelievable, and he continued that into the fixture against Sheffield Utd, both fixtures that he scored in. His tactical awareness is second to none and I for one hope that he stays with us for a long time. Aside from Marriott we have a whole host of options to play out wide. Martyn Waghorn, Harry Wilson, Tom Lawrence, Florian Jozefzoon, and Mason Bennett, all of whom have shone at some stage already this season, are able to play on the wing, and the variety available is something that, quite frankly, excites me.

I can see the key battle in this matchup lying in the midfield. Harvey Barnes versus Mason Mount to be precise. Two young English prospects in very similar positions going head to head. Although Barnes isn’t spoken about quite as much as his Derby counterpart, he carries heaps of quality, and is now established in the England U21 squad. Mount on the other hand is fresh off the back of a call up to the England senior squad, but hasn’t found the net since a 3-1 win over Brentford one month ago, so he’ll surely be on the hunt for his sixth of the season in all competitions.

Despite our victory over the Blades on Saturday, Lampard had said he’d be rotating the lineup for the upcoming fixtures this month, so I expect to see a couple of changes. I reckon we’ll see something like this;

(4-3-3)

Scott Carson

Jayden Bogle

Richard Keogh

Curtis Davies

Craig Forsyth

Tom Huddlestone

Bradley Johnson

Mason Mount

Harry Wilson

Jack Marriott

Martyn Waghorn

As for the opposition, I can’t see the squad changing too much from their last outing, despite the defeat. Jake Livermore is unavailable due to picking up a suspension against Wigan, so he won’t feature, however Darren Moore will have confidence that his squad can turn it around against us come match-day I’m sure of it, so I think we’ll see a team along the lines of this;

(3-4-1-2)

Johnstone

Hegazi

Bartley

Dawson

Gibbs

Mears

Brunt

Field

Barnes

Gayle

Rodriguez

Overall I expect this to be an exciting encounter, two explosive sides managed by two exciting young managers, and with all to play for, this could be a massive match set to take place, and I’m hopeful it will be a positive one for Frank Lampard’s men.

Picture Credit: Derby County

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